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Dombrosky Family Collection - Family Vacations and HemisFair (1967-8)

Christopher Dombrosky

Silent | 1967

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  •  Troy’s fifth birthday party 
  •  Grandma dancing around the buffet 
  •  Crowd awaiting a visit from a presidential candidate, possibly George Wallace 
  •  1968 Jensen Family Reunion 
  •  Visiting Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri 
  •  Fly fishing near Lake Texoma 
  •  Denison Dam 
  •  Frank showing off his fish 
  •  The Alamo 
  •  HemisFair ‘68 
  •  Tower of the Americas 
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This 1960s home movie captures the Dombrosky family of Nederland on a trip to HemisFair ‘68 in San Antonio. Footage includes aerial shots of the fairgrounds and the San Antonio skyline, taken from the top of the Tower of the Americas. Along with footage from several birthday parties, family reunions, and holiday gatherings, the Dombroskys can also be seen fly fishing in Lake Texoma and taking in the Silver Dollar City amusement park in Branson, Missouri.
The 1968 Hemisfair was a World’s Fair held in San Antonio to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the city’s founding. It was the first World’s Fair to be held in the southwest, and its theme was “Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas.” From April 6th to October 6th, 1968, the Hemisfair welcomed over 6 million visitors. Famous attendees included Bob Hope, Louis Armstrong, Princess Grace of Monaco, President Johnson and his family, and Texas Governor John Connally. There were many attractions including exhibits, a monorail, a lagoon, and a variety of performances. Perhaps the most controversial was a show called the “Flying Indians of Papantla,” during which four men tied to ropes revolved down a 114-foot pole. The complaints stemmed from a mock sacrifice at the beginning of the show, which involved a chicken and a topless woman. This was swiftly edited out of the show. 
The popular River Walk was extended in order to meet the site of the fair, and many new buildings were constructed in the downtown area to accommodate exhibitions from over thirty countries and fifteen organizations. Some of these buildings remain, most notably the Tower of the Americas, which was the main symbol of the fair. The area is now known as HemisFair Park.